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Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:34 am on 22nd April 2020.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 11:34 am, 22nd April 2020

In relation to all those frontline staff who have passed away battling coronavirus and who have worked so hard to protect other people who are suffering, may I first say that our hearts go out to them? The right hon. and learned Gentleman is absolutely right that we must do everything we can to protect those frontline staff. I know that a consultant recently passed away at Kingston Hospital, which is where I have been treated and where both my boys were born and delivered, so I know how important and how personal this is to so many of us. We all absolutely agree on the need to protect those workers. He will know that getting PPE to where it needs to be is a massive international challenge that every country faces, from China to Germany. We have made a huge effort to provide, for example, the ventilators that have bolstered the NHS during this incredibly difficult time. If we had not done that, the NHS would not have been able to cope.

Since the start of the outbreak, we have delivered 1 billion items of personal protective equipment, and tens of millions have been distributed via the devolved Administrations. We recognise, though, that we have to strive even harder in this incredibly difficult and competitive international environment to source the equipment. That is why we brought in my noble friend Lord Deighton, formerly chief executive of the London 2012 Olympics, who has been appointed to lead on our domestic efforts.

We have delivered 34 million items of PPE across 38 local resilience forums. We have established the hotlines, the Royal Mail procedures and a new pilot website to ensure not only that we have the amount of PPE that we need, but that it can get to the most vulnerable and those on the frontline who need it the most.